Archive for the ‘Eatwell Farm News’ Category
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March 5, 2014
Last Wednesday evening as the sun was setting the whole crew was still on the farm. We planted 2.5 acres of safflower and covered 1 acre with our plastic mulch before the forecast rain on Thursday.
Safflower is an interesting crop not only for the oil it produces. I have been watching many hundreds of acres in our area being planted to walnuts. Walnuts need very deep and loose soil, so farmers go to great lengths to break up the subsoil. I have seen them hire large diggers to prepare a deep trench where the tree row will go. Others bring in caterpillar tractors as big as your house that drink 5
00 gallons of diesel a day. A few years ago I saw a field planted to Safflower which was then planted to walnuts. The resulting growth in the first year was better than all the other pre planting preparations. Safflower has an aggressive and deep tap root that tunnels down in search of water. When the crop is harvested this tap root breaks down in the soil and then allows any other roots to use this expressway to the nutrients and moisture at depths. This is so much better than heavy equipment guzzling fuel and it achieved a better result. We are doing the same in preparation for planting trees next winter.
Roberto sowed the seed into beds he had prepared as if we were planting vegetables. In this way when they germinate he can cultivate the weeds away with the brush hoe. This seeder plants twelve rows, five inches apart. Each of the plastic tubes in the picture above feeds seed into a metering unit that supplies two rows.
March 5, 2014
From Greens Cookbook
1 bunch Turnips, save the greens you are using them in the soup
Salt for the Turnip water
5 TB Butter, in all
1 Onion on the larger size, cut in half then thinly sliced
1 to 2 tsp Salt
4 Sprigs of Thyme Salt
4 cups Milk
White or Black Pepper
Peel the turnips and slice them into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Bring 3 qts of water to a boil; then add 2 tsp salt and the turnips. Cover the pot and cook for 1 minute; then drain, saving 1/2 cup of the water for soup. Melt 3 TB of the butter in a soup pot with 1/2 cup turnip water. Add the onion, the turnips, and thyme. Stew them, covered, over medium low heat for 5 minutes, then add the milk. Slowly heat it without bringing to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turnips are completely tender. Sort through the turnip greens picking out any that are not green, and wash them. Sauté the turnip greens in the remaining 2 TB butter. Cook over medium heat until they are tender about 5 to 10 minutes. You can allow them cool, then chop and add to the soup, but we pureed them right in with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
March 3, 2014
Very Red Leaf lettuce and broccoli flowewrs
Tokyo white turnips
Red or green mustard
Red leaf lettuce
Thyme and bay leaves
February 28, 2014
The first of the peaches and nectarines are coming into bloom, just in time for a dirty great big storm later in the week. We have very limited options to protect our blossom. I can spray a seaweed solution that helps the flower speed up the processes after the bees have visited. Some organic farmers spray a copper solution. Copper is a heavy metal and I do not want that in my soil. So I prefer the Zen approach. I think warm dry thoughts to encourage the bees to do their stuff and hope even after a rain that the flowers dry out quickly and no disease invades them.
February 27, 2014
So we harvest the delicious vegetables for your box then what? Once the beds are picked through Roberto chews up the residue into very small pieces with our flail mower. This was purchased for $5,500 in 1995 and is still running well. We have replaced bearings, belts and blades may times. We bought the ‘industrial strength’ model for twice as much money but it has lasted about 5 times as long as the regular flail mower does.
The crop and weed residue is then incorporated into the soil with our Sundance disk. This disk peels the bed apart then mixes the soil back into two ridges 40” apart. Roberto makes two passes then rolls the beds to firm down any large clods of soil that could dry out faster than the main body of soil.
Depending on the season he will have Jose irrigate the beds and follow five days later with another pass of the Sundance disk. If there is still plenty of vegetation for the soil microfauna to digest we will irrigate again. Once we have nice friable soil he will make a pass with the bed shaper. This great tool creates a pool table smooth bed to sow and plant into accurately.
At most times of the year this whole process takes two to three weeks. We try not to rush it but we do need to make sure we constantly plant so that we have fresh crops to harvest for your box 50 weeks a year.
Knowing exactly the right time to cultivate and with which tool is a skill that Roberto and Ramon are become masters of. Their hard work makes it easier to grow great crops every year.
February 26, 2014
Recipe from Eatwell Farm Member Dina G
I am planning on making this for dinner tonight. Sounds delicious and I must admit I am really lazy when it comes to making a salad, like cocktails, I prefer them made FOR me:)
1 TB Butter or Olive Oil
2 Green Garlic, diced
1 medium Potato, peeled and diced
4 cups Eatwell Farm Chicken Stock or homemade Veg Stock
2 cups Water
2 cups Lettuce
1 bunch Arugula
1/2 bag Spinach
1/4 cup Cilantro or use the Chives or 1/2 bunch Parsley from this week’s share
Dina said she made this with the Tarragon she had from her share
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup Cream, Milk or Yogurt (optional)
Goat Cheese Garnish (optional)
Heat butter in a large pot. Brown the green garlic and or shallots. Add the diced potato and stir. Add the broth and water; bring to a boil, then simmer about 20 minutes, till the potatoes are soft. Add all the greens and simmer another 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the cream, salt and pepper. With an immersion blender, blend the soup – or blend in small batches in the blender, and be careful that the lid doesn’t fly off from the vacuum effect created by blending hot soup! Serve in small bowls while piping hot. Top with Fresh Goat Cheese.
February 26, 2014
Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Salad
Inspired by a recipe by Georgeanne Brennan from Salad of the Day Serves 3-4
1 lb. Sweet Potatoes
1 1/2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Sumac – not in the original recipe but I used it because I didn’t have limes for the dressing
1/2 tsp Salt – I used Eatwell Farm Tomato Salt
1/4 cup Pecans – coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh Lime juice – No limes in the house so I used 3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 TB Maple Syrup
1/4 cup minced Green Onion, including tender green portions
1/2 bunch Red Russian Kale, stemmed and leaves torn
Freshly ground Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1” chunks. Put them in a large baking pan, drizzle with 1 TB olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and sumac, stir to coat. Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender when pierced, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a dry fry pan over medium low heat, toast the pecans, stirring until fragrant and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool. In a large bowl, stir together the lime juice or apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and the remaining olive oil. Add hot roasted sweet potatoes, the pecans, green onion and kale. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temp and stir again before serving. I did not serve it immediately, but instead put the salad into a bowl while the sweet potatoes were still hot and covered it with a plate, the heat cooked the kale just a bit making it a little more tender. We ate this with the Lettuce and Arugula Soup
February 26, 2014
These recipes in your newsletter this week will help you use everything in your box
Parsley or chives
Red Russian Kale
Spring Onions (Riverdog)
Sweet Potatoes (Estrada)
Raisins (Capay Canyon)
As always everything certified organic.
February 26, 2014
From Rick Rodgers Make Ahead – William Sonoma. Serves 4
1 lb. fresh Chinese Egg Noodles – I used 1/2 pack of spaghetti the full lb. seemed too much
1 TB Roasted Sesame Oil
2 TB Peanut Oil – or another oil that is appropriate for high temps
1-2 Green Garlic, minced
1 TB freshly grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes – next time I will use more
1 bunch Bok Choy, washed well and cut into 3 inch chunks
1 Carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 – 2 Green Onions, cut into 1- inch slices use all that is tender
1/2 cup Eatwell Farm Chicken Stock or make your own with the bones from your roasted chicken
3 TB Oyster Sauce
(I do not have Oyster Sauce so I mixed: 2 TB Soy Sauce, 1 tsp light Vinegar 1 tsp Fish Sauce 1 tsp Red Miso Paste)
2 cups shredded Chicken
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to the directions. When the pasta is done, drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Toss the noodles with the sesame oil, and set aside. While you are waiting for the water to boil, wash and chop the bok choy, green garlic, green onions, carrots, and grate the ginger. In a small bowl, stir together the broth and oyster sauce and set aside. Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the ginger, stir, then add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, quickly tossing them around the wok, following with the vegetables. Stir fry until the bok choy wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the noodles, chicken and broth mixture to the wok and toss to combine. Cook, stirring often, until the noodles and chicken are heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve
February 26, 2014
All important decisions here at Eatwell are made sitting around our kitchen table, and if it involves me, then they are made when I am not here! We’ve been talking a lot about how we can improve your experience with your Eatwell Share and one big concern has been waste. So we are working on a new system for recipes and menu suggestions to help you work with what is in the box, striving for zero waste. This means mostly a change in how I do the recipes, working with Nigel and Jose in the planning of what goes into the box. We are still working on logistics, but I thought I would give it a little practice this week. Between suggestions and recipes, if you cook everything mentioned here you will have used everything in this week’s box. So here are a few suggestions for a couple of the items, followed by some recipes for everything else.
Raisins: We keep a bowl full out on the counter to snack on during the day. Raisins are delicious in oatmeal and even better and healthier if you soak your oats with the raisins over night.
Cabbage: Make a simple slaw with the cabbage. Just shred your cabbage and add your own favorite style of slaw dressing, i.e. sour cream or yogurt with salt and pepper work if you want to keep it really simple, and add some raisins to give it a bit of sweetness. You will be happy to have a ready to grab fresh and crunchy veg dish just waiting for you in the fridge.
One of this week’s recipes is Shanghai Noodles with Bock Choy and Chicken. I used leftover roast chicken, so I would recommend either roasting your own chicken or if you are pressed for time pick up a roasted Rocky Chicken from the grocery store. Enjoy a Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potato/Kale Salad (Below) or with Slaw one night and with your leftovers make the noodle dish.
Even though we had the Sweet Potato/Kale Salad with the Lettuce/Arugula/Spinach Soup (Below), I would have loved it (probably even more) with some really good fresh, crunchy bread and loads
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